15" wheels on the BX

Citroën BX – New(ish) Alloy Wheels

4 min read

Back in March, I decided it might finally be time to buy some new tyres for the Citroën BX. The 16-year-old rubber had become rather stiff, and not so good at sticking to the tarmac. So a hunt started to find the correct 195 width tyre with the correct speed rating. The problem is these days a 195 tyre on a 14″ rim speed-rated ‘V’ for 149mph doesn’t exist. Okay, they do exist, but only from the Michelin Classic Range, at a cost of £120 per corner. I need better tyre options, and I have a set of alloy wheels which might give me them!

ADIKT Excel Alloy Wheels

2003 eBay picture - Adikt Excel alloy wheels
2003 eBay picture – Adikt Excel alloy wheels

When my BX first appeared on eBay in 2003, one of the things I liked about it was the way it looked on 17″ rims. The eBay advert picture above shows the car on its bump stops, wearing Adikt Excel 17″ alloys with a 205/40 tyre. Considerably more wheel than rubber and absolutely filling the wheel arch. Despite being wide and thin tyres, they are standard option fitment to the BMW Mini making tyre options quite plentiful.

2004 Lake District tour - Wheels fully On Show
2004 Lake District tour – Wheels fully On Show

For a short while, I even ran the 17″ alloy wheels for daily use. The picture above, one of my favourites of the car, shows just how much they fill the wheel well. This is with the suspension on full height. But wheels this big come with drawbacks. On the track, they are fantastic but on-road they are harsh. The lack of distance between the wheel rim and body kit means you have to keep the suspension components in perfect condition, especially rear arm bearings. The giant 17″ alloys are also notorious for eating through the front with bone bushes!

The Wheel Conundrum

So, the conundrum. I really like the look of the 17″ Adikt Excel alloy wheels under the BX, but the size and 7 spoke design. But despite the high availability of suitable tyres, they aren’t practical to live with.

The spare wheel pile
The spare wheel pile

The solution came in the form of an alternative size. It seems that in the early 90’s when the Adkit Excel range hit the market, they came in 15″, 16″ and 17″ sizes. So a smaller rim size would give me the 7 spoke look, but greater practicality. And after just 8 years of looking, I found some on Spoox Motorsport eBay store. Local enough to collect back then too!

Rubbering up the Alloys

So I collected the rims from Spoox workshop in Enderby almost 8 years ago to the day. They came with two rims with tyres, and two without tyres, so I’ve never got round to putting them on the car. That was, until this week!

15" Adikt Excel alloy wheels installed on the BX
15″ Adikt Excel alloy wheels installed on the BX

With a bit of help from a good friend, I finally managed to get some rubber on the two naked rims. Partly worn tyres, nothing fancy, but decent enough for me to finally make a decision about keeping, or not, the 15″ version of the wheels I love so much.

15" alloy wheels in 2020 compared to the 17" wheels in 2003
15″ alloy wheels in 2020 compared to the 17″ wheels in 2003

Compared to the original picture from the 2003 eBay advert, the 15″ rims certainly don’t have the same wheel arch filling appearance. Okay, I’m not quite comparing apples with apples in the picture, but hopefully, the difference comes through in the pictures.

The Verdict

Too soon to cast a final verdict
Too soon to cast a final verdict

I think it’s a little too soon to cast a final verdict, I’ll need to see them on the car for a few months. My initial instinct is that I prefer the original 14″ Speedline alloy wheels that the car normally sits on. But I won’t be getting rid of these 15″ wheels any time soon as they take a more available tyre size. I can even get tyres from the 1A permitted tyre list in the back of the MSUK blue book!

M

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